Police called after protesters impede Saskatoon Canada Post depot
Employees ordered back to work last month, protesters call move unconstitutional
Protesters slowed traffic in front of a Canada Post depot in Saskatoon Monday morning to criticize back-to-work legislation.
A dozen protesters slowly walked back and forth in front of the depot's entrance, slowing but not stopping traffic.
Group members said they were protesting against the federal government's bill that forced workers back to work last month.
"In doing so, they went against clear Supreme Court guidelines on the right to strike," said Dave Lyons-Morgan. "When the Liberal government brought this in, they brought in a completely unconstitutional law."
Lyons-Morgan said the group arrived at the postal depot around 5 a.m. CST. At one point, the gates into the depot were chained shut, but the lock was removed by Saskatoon Police.
The group said they were not members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) but were working in solidarity with union members.
Kevin Hitchings, vice-president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers local branch for that site, was among the 48 carriers and various support staff inside the building Monday morning. He said workers appreciate the protest.
"I'm glad we're getting support," he said.
He called the back-to-work order an "attack" on workers and said it's good to see the public taking action. He said there were no postal workers among the protesters.
Hitchings said he believes CUPW will be vindicated in the courts.
The federal government said mail was an essential service and that small businesses could go bankrupt over the Christmas season if service wasn't restored.
CUPW began rotating strikes across the country in October. The union said increased workload is at the core of the dispute, as postal workers are busier because of internet shopping.